Archive - November 2017

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G.L.i.B-bed: Persuasion
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November in review: The best laid plans
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Remembering Nkiru
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G.L.i.B-bed: Reading plan: More of Maya Angelou’s Autobiographies
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G.L.i.B-bed: Evil in the house
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I don’t get it but I’ve accepted it

G.L.i.B-bed: Persuasion

This would be the first of James Borg’s works to feature in my reading list. And I had no expectations about it. Just a blank expression on my mind as I began to leaf through the red – covered volume. Time and again, British authors reiterate my conviction of my preference for their writing technique (and choice of words) over any of their other counterparts. Reading content created by a Briton elevates and educates me. I’m also left with a feeling of my time well – spent, my mind more exposed, my diction improved and increased, and my writing duly challenged. Strange though. Like most people around the world, I grew up under the weighted influence of American entertainment – cartoons, books, films, speech. And after almost four decades of conscious (and sometimes, unconscious) orientation, the British writers still hold taut my heartstrings to their style of penmanship. James Borg’s Persuasion is, like its title signals, all about the art of influencing people over to your point of view. Divided into 10 chapters, it delves into such topics geared towards making an influence of the reader – being a good listener, keeping attention, body language, good recall, telephone telepathy, negotiating skills, personality types, etc. It was an entertaining and educative read, staying true to my expectations of British authors. An apt end to my reading diet for the month of November. Here are some interesting excerpts: Man’s inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively, skillfully and with understanding to another person. Attention is held only when interest is rising. Research shows continually that people take in only about 40 percent of what they hear. (And that’s without interruptions) Recognize that most decisions of acceptance – for anything – are made on an emotional level. It is important to get acceptance when feeling is running high. Lack of eye contact gives the impression that you are talking at people instead of to them. A poor memory can destroy relationships. People prefer to deal with others who speak in an open communication fashion; it leads to less”more

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November in review: The best laid plans

If October didn’t do justice to all the plans I had mapped out for it, November fared even more dismally. It was the month of NaNoWriMo, the highlight of my writing all year long. All those posts, the practice runs of everyday scribbling was leading to 30 days of excited, enthralling, frenzied writing. In anticipation, my adrenaline levels rose; I even jotted out various plots and storylines for each scene I intended to expound on, with the intention of adding onto them as I completed each one. But alas, it was not to be. Most of the month was spent fending off the onslaught of nausea, fever and weakness in my body. Harbingers of an ailment I couldn’t afford to entertain at the time ( or any other time!) My gallant efforts were unsuccessful. Malaria hit me, like a hurricane with ample warning, from all sides, and rippled into other areas of my life as expected – my workout routine, my writing and, to an extent, my reading.  

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Remembering Nkiru

I’ve heard it said that ‘we do not remember days, we remember moments.’ I remember so many moments now that Nkiru is no longer with us on this side of eternity. I remember the seemingly little things and the big things and hold them close like the priceless treasures they now are. … I remember, not to mourn as before but to celebrate the life of an amazing woman who gave us so much to remember…and emulate. I remember the wise, the wonderful, the wacky and the witty. I remember her loud peal of laughter. It would break out without warning and ring clear across the room and if it was based on something I’d said, I remember the way she would manage to say while still laughing – “Chineze you’re very silly”. I remember her way of shrugging and saying ‘Ama m’, the Igbo equivalent of ‘I dunno’ if you asked her something she hadn’t figured out. I remember the painstaking way she painted her nails in the morning to match each day’s particular outfit, when we shared a workstation in our Tequila days. I remember the impossibly high heels in someone already so tall and statuesque. I remember the out-and-out creative brilliance and distinctive copy skills. What I remember most though are the last few precious years. Her Courage, Christianity, Cheerfulness and Compassion. To manage the scale of health challenges that she did without ever complaining to me, while reminding me not to be discouraged by my own challenges which of course paled in comparison. What is that if not the kind of courage one often reads about? This is only one example. There are many more I cannot share in the interests of time. Nkiru also demonstrated true Christianity at a time when it was hardest to do. When I once commented during a phone conversation with her, about wanting to shake my fists at God in anger and protest, she reprimanded me sharply and reminded me that God is good and faithful – all the time and should always be praised and worshipped. No matter what!”more

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G.L.i.B-bed: Reading plan: More of Maya Angelou’s Autobiographies

There was a pervading feeling of déjà vu as I thumbed my way through I know Why the Caged Bird sings. It all became clear at the end; this was one of seven autobiographies, and I had just finished the third in the series. Interestingly, I wasn’t aware of this and Maya Angelou’s writing occupies a top spot in my ranking of phenomenal writing. How odd. No need extoling one of America’s (and indeed the world’s) greatest writers. More than enough has been said (and written) about her extraordinary penmanship that inspires, elevates, informs and celebrates. Instead of adding my ink and voice , I’d rather embark on a collection of her works to heartily digest (and constantly use them as terms of reference) and, hopefully, reflect such skill in my style and learning path.

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G.L.i.B-bed: Evil in the house

They say it’s when you become a parent, you realize your parents were right all along. As a mum, I’d rather be tagged paranoid than sorry when it concerns my children. Paranoia can be tamed; regret live with you for all time, and, sometimes, has unseen, far-reaching consequences. Now, I understand my mum’s obviously worried expressions, her statements about some male relatives and her caution when dealing with them. Family is not off limits when it comes to abuse of any kind – domestic, sexual or otherwise. After all, na who know man na im dey kill am. Yeside Kilanko’s novel reminds the reader how much closer to home evil can be lurking, and how, sometimes, unwittingly, unintentionally, we aid it ourselves through the entrance of extended family members into our lives. And it is one of the parents’ essential duty to shield their offspring from such familial devils. Without giving away necessary spoilers of the plot of this book which elicited contrasting emotions as I flipped over the pages, it would be difficult and constricting to write effectively about it. But I’d say this; the recent trend of women speaking up and out about all forms of abuse must continue, and should extend its voice to younger females in their teenage years and even younger. Abuse should be exposed immediately it occurs and the abuser made to understand the magnitude of the offence while suffering the punishment for it.

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